Cancel Culture

Cancel culture is a phrase contemporary to the late 2010s and early 2020s used to refer to a culture in which those who are deemed to have acted or spoken in an unacceptable manner are ostracized, boycotted, or shunned. The term "cancel culture" is predominantly used when these responses are to right-wing actions or speech, but is rare when the responses are to left-wing actions or speech. This shunning may extend to social or professional circles—whether on social media or in person—with most high-profile incidents involving celebrities. Those subject to this ostracism are said to have been "canceled".

The expression "cancel culture" came in circulation in the late 2010s and early 2020s and has mostly negative connotations, often used polemically by self-described advocates for free speech and against censorship. The term "call-out culture" is generally understood to be a more positive framing of the same concept.

Some critics argue that cancel culture has a chilling effect on public discourse, is unproductive, does not bring real social change, causes intolerance, and amounts to cyberbullying. Others argue that calls for "cancellation" are themselves a form of free speech, and that they promote accountability, and give disenfranchised people a voice. Still others question whether cancel culture is an actual phenomenon, arguing that similar forms of boycotting have long existed. While the careers of some public figures have been impacted by boycotts that have been widely described as "cancellation", others have complained of cancellation while continuing their careers as before.

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'Ducking hell' to disappear from Apple autocorrect

Apple will improve its autocorrect feature so it stops changing one of the most common swear words to "ducking". Although iPhone users can disable the autocorrect, the keyboard's factory settings on the device change the word automatically.

Roald Dahl: The fierce debate over rewriting children's classics

Sir Salman Rushdie had his say. The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak weighed in. The New York Times published a piece debating the pros and cons. Steven Spielberg offered his opinion. Even the Queen seemed to refer to it.

Roald Dahl: Original books to be printed by Penguin following criticism

Roald Dahl's original books are to be printed under their Puffin titles, publishing house Penguin has said. The unaltered story books will now go alongside updated versions of his hugely popular children's writing.

Why are certain school books being banned in US?

A growing number of US parents are alleging that school books are obscene or otherwise harmful to children. It's creating an increasingly divisive political battle that could spill over into upcoming national elections.

Fawlty Towers: John Cleese attacks 'cowardly' BBC over episode's removal

John Cleese has laid into the "cowardly and gutless" BBC after an episode of Fawlty Towers was temporarily removed from a BBC-owned streaming platform. In it, the Major uses highly offensive language, and Cleese's Basil Fawlty declares "don't mention the war".


Woke (/woʊk/ wohk) is a term, originating in the United States, that originally referred to awareness about racial prejudice and discrimination. It subsequently came to encompass an awareness of other issues of social inequality, for instance, regarding gender and sexual orientation.

Political correctness

Political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated PC) is a term used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society.

John Cleese to complain over BBC interview

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.John Cleese has said he intends to put in a formal complaint about the "deception, dishonesty and tone" of a recent BBC interview he took part in.

New Rule: Words Matter | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Subscribe to the Real Time YouTube: This is why word inflation is a problem: You can try to change reality by redefining words, but it won't work – it just stops you from dealing with it. Connect with Real Time Online: Find Real Time on Facebook:

New Rule: White Shame | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Subscribe to the Real Time YouTube: In his editorial New Rule, Bill asks white liberals to stop hating on themselves and proposes a "Honky Tax" to offset their white guilt. Connect with Real Time Online: Find Real Time on Facebook: Find Real Ti

Real Time with Bill Maher: John Cleese on Political Incorrectness (HBO)

Subscribe to the Real Time YouTube: Bill Maher and John Cleese discuss the comedic value of human stupidity, political incorrectness and religious fundamentalism in this clip from November 21, 2014. Connect with Real Time Online: Find Real Time on Facebook: https://www.faceb

New Rule: Cancel Culture is Over Party | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Subscribe to the Real Time YouTube: Bill calls on liberals to "stand their ground" when the woke mob comes for them over a ridiculous past offence. Connect with Real Time Online: Find Real Time on Facebook: Find Real Time on Twitter: https://t

The web firm that wants to stop you getting 'cancelled'

The defiant claim came from Devin Nunes, who is the chief executive of Trump Media and Technology Group, the firm set up by Mr Trump in 2021 to run his social media app Truth Social.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk defends Dilbert creator's racist tirade

Elon Musk accused US media of racism on Monday, defending racist comments made by Dilbert cartoon creator Scott Adams on YouTube last week. Twitter's CEO tweeted that media was once racist against non-whites, but ''now they're racist against whites & Asians''.

Dilbert comic strip dropped by US media over creator's racist tirade

Many US newspapers including the Washington Post have dropped the long-running Dilbert cartoon strip after its creator made racist comments. In a video on YouTube, Scott Adams, who is white, said black Americans were part of a "hate group" and that white people should "get the hell away" from them.

JK Rowling dismisses backlash over trans comments: 'I don't care about my legacy'

JK Rowling has said she isn't concerned about how the backlash to her position on transgender issues will affect her legacy, and that anyone who thinks she is has "profoundly" misunderstood her.

Dave Chappelle show cancelled over transgender jokes controversy

Comedian Dave Chappelle has had a live show cancelled at the last minute due to controversy over some of his jokes. The First Avenue venue in Minnesota apologised for booking him and said the show would move to another theatre.

Actor Kevin Spacey charged with sexual assault

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Maureen Lipman: Cancel culture could wipe out comedy

Dame Maureen Lipman has said comedy is in danger of being "wiped out" due to fears over being cancelled. She told the BBC she believes comedians are now so worried about offending, "a revolution" is taking place.

Ricky Gervais defends 'taboo' comedy after backlash

Ricky Gervais has defended making jokes about "taboo subjects" after his new Netflix special drew criticism. In SuperNature, the stand-up comedian makes a string of what he describes as ironic and satirical jokes about trans people, female comedians and Aids.

Ukraine war: JK Rowling hits back at Putin's 'cancel culture' comment

JK Rowling has hit back at Vladimir Putin, after the Russian president cited her in a wide-ranging speech that saw him criticise "cancel culture". At a televised meeting on Friday, Mr Putin compared recent criticism of the Harry Potter author to that faced by pro-war Russian composers and writers.

Virginia Confederate monuments likely headed to black history museum

Confederate monuments taken down in Richmond, Virginia, will likely be moved to a black history museum and cultural centre, officials have said. An imposing statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee that was removed in September is expected to be among the monuments being transferred.

Quidditch leagues set to pick new name after JK Rowling trans row

Two US Quidditch leagues are to change their names in order to "distance" themselves from Harry Potter author JK Rowling, following a trans row. Quidditch first appeared as a fictional sport, played by wizards on flying broomsticks, in her book series.

Return to Hogwarts: Critics bemoan Rowling's absence in Harry Potter reunion

A TV special reuniting members of the Harry Potter cast has received mixed reviews from critics, with many noting the absence of author JK Rowling.There has been speculation that the writer was shut out of the programme after her previous comments about trans people divided public opinion.

John Cleese blacklists himself from Cambridge University event

John Cleese has cancelled an appearance at Cambridge University after a visiting speaker was banned for a Hitler impression. The star, who said he had done a similar impression on a Monty Python show, said he was "blacklisting myself before someone else does".

Cancel culture

Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those subject to this ostracism are said to have been "cancelled".

Graham Linehan: Second venue cancels Father Ted writer's comedy show

Image source, PA MediaA second Edinburgh venue has cancelled a stand-up comedy show featuring Father Ted writer Graham Linehan, according to organisers. Hours before the gig was due to begin, Comedy Unleashed said it would still go ahead despite the new cancellation.

Kathleen Stock: Gender-critical academic 'determined' to do talk

BBC NewsA gender-critical academic says she is "determined" to speak at the Oxford Union after some students responded angrily to her invitation to a talk.There has been a row over whether Prof Kathleen Stock should be allowed to attend the debate.

Man scales BBC HQ and hits statue with hammer

A man has scaled the front of the BBC's HQ in London and has hit a controversial statue with a hammer in an apparent protest. There have been calls for Eric Gill's Prospero and Ariel statue to be removed because the sculptor recorded sexually abusing his daughters in his diaries.

New Rule: A Unified Theory of Wokeness | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Subscribe to the Real Time YouTube: It's time to stop judging everyone in the past by the standards of the present. Connect with Real Time Online: Find Real Time on Facebook: Find Real Time on Twitter: Find Real T

New Rule: A Woke Revolution | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

The problem with communism – and with some very recent ideologies here at home – is that they think you can change reality by screaming at it.

Tennessee school board bans teaching of Holocaust graphic novel Maus

A school board in Tennessee has banned a Pulitzer prize-winning novel about the Holocaust from being taught in its classrooms.Board members voted in favour of banning the novel because it contained swear words and a naked illustration.

France resists US challenge to its values

Six months ago, if asked what they understood by "woke", most French people would have assumed it had something to do with Chinese cooking. And yet today in Paris, the notion of "le wokisme" is suddenly all the rage.

London has twice as many statues of animals as named women

There are more statues of animals in London than of named women, an audit by Art UK has found. There are about 1,500 monuments in the capital. Fifty of those depict specific women while nearly 100 are of animals.

Rolling Stones drop Brown Sugar from US tour set list

The Rolling Stones have dropped Brown Sugar, one of their biggest hits, from their US tour. It follows unease with the depictions of black women and references to slavery in the song, which reached number one in the US in 1971.

Mexico City to swap Columbus statue for one of indigenous woman

Mexico City's governor has confirmed that a statue of an indigenous woman will replace the capital's Christopher Columbus monument. The statue was removed last year after indigenous rights activists threatened to tear it down.

In full: Rowan Atkinson on free speech

The forerunner of the Defend Free Speech campaign was called “Reform Section 5”. This speech by Rowan Atkinson at the launch event in Parliament in 2012 should be heard by every politician, journalist and campaigner before they start calling for laws to silence those they regard as ‘extremists

New Rule: Snitch Nation | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Subscribe to the Real Time YouTube: Being a tattletale used to be a bad thing, but now America is "Snitchlandia,” where you can’t trust your neighbors and you’re always looking over your shoulder. Connect with Real Time Online: Find Real Time on Facebook: https://www.f

Jeep pushed to retire Cherokee name from SUVs

The Cherokee Nation wants Jeep to stop using its name to sell the firm's classic sports utility vehicles. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr said "it's time" for companies and sports teams to retire Native American iconography from logos, mascots and other products.

Robert E Lee statue: Virginia removes contentious memorial as crowds cheer

An imposing statue of an American Confederate general in Richmond, Virginia, has been taken down. Governor Ralph Northam announced it would come down amid national protests after the death of George Floyd.

The New Puritans

Social codes are changing, in many ways for the better. But for those whose behavior doesn’t adapt fast enough to the new norms, judgment can be swift—and merciless. So begins the tale of Hester Prynne, as recounted in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter.

Woke Movie Warnings | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Subscribe to the Real Time YouTube: Bill shares pre-movie warnings for "problematic" content in some acclaimed classic films. Connect with Real Time Online: Find Real Time on Facebook: Find Real Time on Twitter:

political correctness cancel culture woke